It’s A Government Plot! (To Save Energy, Money)

Is it a government plot? Why, yes, it is: a plot to save energy and money.

The Home Energy Score, launched a couple of years ago and recently updated, is intended to give you quick, low-cost insight into how energy-efficient your home is while offering ballpark values for potential improvements. The U.S. Department of Energy has characterized it as a kind of miles per gallon for homes, a lone, standardized number that conveys a lot of information.

home energy score

image via U.S. Department of Energy

And somehow this is scary to people? Yep.

Check out the comments on CNS News – “The Right News. Right Now.” – after the site wrote a story about the updates the DOE announced to the Home Energy Score program.

Send them to my house I need the target practice… This is the heart of Agenda 21… This is driven by the UN Agenda 21 sustainability program that was written and proposed by the Club of Rome NWO group that includes several prominent Americans… The planned Smart Grid will tie in home appliances and cut them off if the taxes aren’t paid…. The new age climate crowd must be salivating over revenue soon to be collected… Totally Unconstitutional. I am allowed to buy as much energy as I choose to. The govt may only inhibit the business if they pose a risk to the lives and property of citizen… Stop this! Call your congressman and tell him to stop it. Then, tell him to abolish the DOE. It serves no useful purpose for Americans and never has. It’s a complete waste, brought to life by another complete waste, President Carter… No Thanks. I have absolutely no interest in how energy efficient my home is compared with others. I use the power that I want, and I pay for it accordingly. Simple. F U Big Government.

This, friends, is what the U.S. is up against when it comes to becoming smarter about how it uses energy. Scary.

The thing is, the Home Energy Score is aimed at regular folk who could really benefit from improving their home’s energy efficiency, but don’t have a big budget to do so. Elaborate home energy audits, which the DOE does admit provide firmer data, can run several hundred dollars. The Home Energy Score, which is only supposed to take a qualified assessor around 15 minutes to do, can generally be had for $50 to $100, according to the DOE (the local utility or company doing the assessment sets the price).

Since the Home Energy Score kicked in to gear last summer, around 8,500 homes have been scored. Given that there are around 75 million owner-occupied homes in the U.S., clearly this is a plot that has a long way to go before it brings the citizenry to its knees. If you’re interested in seeing how your house scores, you can check the DOE website here to find out if the program is offered in your area.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.